BBC survey shows an “unhappy” staff

  • 06 Jul 2021

The BBC has reduced its workforce by more than 1,200, equivalent to 6 per cent, according to its annual report 2020/21. 

Senior leader numbers were also down by more than 5 percent, with spend on top stars reduced by 10 per cent.

The BBC said it had made £272m annual recurring savings (up from £199m the previous year), bringing its cumulative savings since 2017/18 to £890m this financial year. In 2021/22, it plans to make cuts of more than £950m.

Paul Siegert, NUJ national broadcasting organiser, said:

“The BBC is clearly doing many things right and it’s good to hear that the gender pay gap is narrowing and that the salaries for some of the top stars has reduced. But the recent staff survey shows the BBC is far from a happy place to work. 
“Staff say they don’t believe recruitment is fair and transparent or that their careers are likely to progress.

“The reduction of the workforce by 6 per cent while not reducing the amount of output means there are now fewer staff doing the same amount or work. Staff are overworked and suffering from burnout.  Many journalists say they are being pushed to the limit.

“Staff, many of whom worked flat out during the pandemic and were rewarded with a pay freeze over the past 12 months, are rightly aggrieved.”

The report said: “Time spent with the BBC went up to 18 hours two minutes, from 17 hours 45 minutes, on average, per week. Over 28 million people came to the BBC for evening entertainment on an average day... In a year of complex news, as the UK battled the global coronavirus pandemic, audiences for the BBC News at Six were the largest in almost two decades. BBC One’s 6.30pm bulletin in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the English regions is the UK’s most watched news programme.”

New research from KPMG showed the corporation delivered £2.63 of direct economic impactfor every £1 spent with 50 per cent of that economic impact outside London, compared to a sector average of 20 per cent.

It won more than 130 awards won since last April:

  • 31 out of 48 Baftas.
  • 16 out of 23 broadcast awards, with Channel Of The Year for BBC Two.
  • 16 out 25 gold wins at the Audio & Radio Industry Awards, from best news coverage to best music breakfast show to best local station.

BBC pay 2020-2021: The full list of star salaries

Full annual report

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